While there are many different methods of ridding your home and pets of fleas, Diatomaceous Earth has become one of the go-to methods of getting rid of pests. Because of its safe and non toxic use, Diatomaceous Earth or DE for short has gained popularity worldwide as one of the most effective natural flea control products on the market. But what exactly is Diatomaceous Earth, why is it so popular and how does it work? Let’s find out.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth is an off white powder formed from the fossilized remains of a major type of microalgae known as diatoms. It has recently become a household name after being used in the development of many different products, from toothpaste to insecticides and even in products such as cat litter, for decades. With the rise of the natural health and holistic community came an interest in non toxic ways of doing everything, including eco friendly methods of getting rid of pests and other insects. Because of this, Diatomaceous Earth has become somewhat of a savior for health enthusiasts who want to keep their homes and pets insect free in the safest way possible.
Different varieties of Diatomaceous Earth
DE comes in two main forms, Crystalline and Non-Crystalline (also referred to as Amorphous). This variation differentiates the type of DE that is safe for consumption and home use, from that which is mainly used in industrialization and chemical processes. They are mainly identified by being labelled as either Food Grade DE or Filter Grade DE.
- Food Grade DE – As the name suggests, this form of Diatomaceous Earth is safe for human consumption and other household processes. It generally contains about 0.5% – 2% crystalline silica, and has been approved by major American government bodies such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food Grade DE can be easily found in most grocery stores and is offered by many online retailers.
- Filter Grade DE – This form of DE is also referred to as Non Food Grade DE, as it contains at least 60% crystalline silica, with many brands going above 60%. This makes it toxic to many mammals, but useful for many different chemical processes and other industrial uses.
How Diatomaceous Earth kills pests
Diatomaceous Earth is effective in killing many types of insects because of its impact on the genetic makeup of all insects. Most insects such as roaches or in this case fleas all contain a tough outer coating known as the exoskeleton, which forms a protective layer from all forms of danger for the insect. It is this same outer coating that Diatomaceous Earths acts on, to kill these insects from the inside out. When insects encounter DE powder, it pierces through the exoskeleton and kills the insect by drying out all the internal organs, rendering them ineffective. The insect then dies from internal dehydration.
Why use Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of fleas
It is 100% organic and safe – One of the main reasons that Diatomaceous Earth has soared to popularity as one of the easiest methods of flea removal is because it is a completely natural product, making it suitable for almost everybody. This 100% all natural fossilized powder is touted in meat-eating and vegan circles alike, with many exclaiming they love it because of how safe it is for everyone, from small pets and other animals to the oldest adult.
It is economically priced – Unlike most other organic pest controllers and insecticides, Diatomaceous Earth powder is actually very well priced, and is affordable to everyone despite their standard of living. Be mindful however that Diatomaceous Earth may be mixed with other substances when you pick it up at the store, so be sure to read the ingredients used to know exactly what you’re buying. It can be found on most popular online retailers, as well as on online health food stores and even your local health food store in your community.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth to kill fleas
Since fleas favor pets such as cats and dogs, they can most commonly be found on these pets, as well as in carpets, furniture and pet beds. Want to get rid of the fleas that are affecting your pets and home? Here are 3 easy ways to use Diatomaceous Earth for killing fleas.
1. Getting rid of fleas on cats and dogs
When it comes to using Diatomaceous Earth as a flea powder, many pet owners have reported much success in applying the Diatomaceous Earth directly on the coats of their pet, but the vast majority still have questions surrounding whether or not this is safe. Because Diatomaceous Earth is a natural drying agent, the main issue it will cause when applied to the animal’s coat is dryness, but because of its texture, it tends to easily fall from the coats of dogs or cats. The truth is that applying DE powder to the coat of your pets is an effective and easy way of getting rid of fleas, but remember to watch for dryness and reapply when necessary.
2. Getting rid of fleas in the home/carpet
One of the ways fleas hide in your home is through crawling into small spaces such as carpets and rugs where they are virtually indistinguishable. Diatomaceous Earth is effective in ridding your home of these fleas that hide so well, as the sprinkled powder will dehydrate the fleas left behind. The only downside to this however is that the cleanup will take some time, as carpets are generally harder to clean than other types of floors. For the cleanup process, it may be necessary to call an expert to completely cleanse your carpet, which will prevent another possible flea infestation.
3. Getting rid of fleas in the garden
DE is very effective for getting rid of fleas in the garden. It works best by just sprinkling the DE powder on the garden plants, grass, as well as in the soil. Because DE is 100% safe, you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects, but keep your children and pets away anyway when applying it, as it may cause irritation of the lungs.
These are indeed the easiest ways to use Diatomaceous Earth as a flea remover. As you continue to fight against insects the natural way, there are many more untapped methods that will be shared here. Here is our guide on how to get rid of bed bugs.